EQG: Battle Network

by InvinciblePony2375

Chapter 1: Shining in Darkness

In a virtual arena, two cyber ponies were battling against each other: a tan earth stallion in green armour, and a very muscular, white pegasus stallion in red, yellow, and blue armour.

“Ha! You can’t beat me!” the muscular pegasus taunted. “I’m the strongest NetNavi in the city!”

Out in the physical realm, in the new Canterlot High Rec Hall, the battle was being controlled by two network operators: Rainbow Dash and Twilight Sparkle, both using their PET’s. Others there were cheering them on.

“That ‘a boy, SnowBreak!” Rainbow Dash cheered on. “Show that NormalNavi who’s the best!”

Twilight Sparkle wiped a drop of sweat off her forehead, reached into her bag, and pulled out two Battle Chips. ‘I’m running out of options,’ she thought. ‘I hope this counts.’ “<<Rapid-Fire Battle Chip In: DOWNLOAD!>>”

The NormalNavi gained two shoulder cannons and immediately opened fire against SnowBreak, but the hulking pegasus managed to evade heavy damage.

“<<Cyber-Sword Battle Chip In: DOWNLOAD!>>”

A pure energy sword materialized over the NormalNavi’s right foreleg, to which it used to launch an attack.

“SnowBreak, you know what to do,” said Rainbow Dash as she pulled out her own Battle Chip. “<<Iron-Hoof Battle Chip In: DOWNLOAD!>>”

SnowBreak’s right foreleg turned silver, and he threw a massive punch against the sword, which ended up both shattering the sword and damaging the NormalNavi, fragmenting its right foreleg.

“Oh no!” Twilight gasped. “<<Regenerate Right Foreleg: EXECUTE!>> Get out of there!”

“Sorry, Twi,” Rainbow Dash said, “but this game is over. <<Muscle-Hammer Battle Chip In: DOWNLOAD!>>”

SnowBreak’s front hooves merged into an iron hammer, and with all his might, he smashed the ground, causing a wave of energy to blast forward and hit the NormalNavi.

<NetNavi: Logging Out>

All Twilight could do was let out a disheartened sigh while Rainbow Dash cheered: “That makes twenty victories in a row! Give it up, everybody! I’ve broken my old record!” In an instant, everyone cheered for her. “I can’t hear you!” She was then met with an even louder cheer. After the cheering subsided, she walked over to Twilight, who was packing her PET away, and told her. “Relax, Twi. These NetBattles are all in good fun. You’re my pal, after all. Word of advice, though: you should invest for a custom NetNavi if you want a chance against SnowBreak.”

“Duly noted,” was all Twilight said before leaving.
“That’s the tenth NetBattle I’ve lost in a row. I feel like such a loser.”

“Oh, Twilight, not having a personal NetNavi doesn’t make you a loser.”

Twilight Sparkle was walking home while Fluttershy was following beside her. As they walked, they talked about the recent NetBattle.

“Thanks. Fluttershy,” Twilight replied. “With all due respect, though, that’s easy for you to say. You were rewarded a custom NetNavi from the Dean of Empire City University herself for your charity work.”

“B-But I mean it. You’re an inspiration to me and our friends. You don’t need a custom NetNavi to show that.”

“You know, you’re right. I’m glad I do have friends like you to remind me of that.”

Just then, Fluttershy’s PET rang.

“Fluttershy, Calendar Uplink: the birdwatcher’s meeting is in five minutes.”

“Thanks, HoneyHeart,” Fluttershy responded. “Well, see you tomorrow, Twilight.” She then headed off while Twilight continued home.

“I should check my damage report,” she thought out loud as she pulled out her PET. “It looked like my NetNavi suffered back there.”

<Right Foreleg at 12% Functionality:::Estimated Recovery Time: Three Months>

“THREE MONTHS!? I’ll never get to redeem myself from my losses!” Just then, she bumped into a blonde-haired girl, causing them both to drop their bags and nearly fall over. “Oh, I’m sorry. I wasn’t watching where I was going.”

“Oh, that’s alright. I wasn’t looking ahead either.”

As they picked up their bags, Twilight spoke up, “Are you okay, Bright Eyes?”

“Yeah, I’m fine,” she replied, “but are you okay? I heard Rainbow Dash beat you in a NetBattle.”

“Why should that faze you? I thought you didn’t care for NetBattles.”

“I don’t. It’s just that I don’t like seeing other people sad.” Just then, she got an idea. “Could I buy you a muffin? The café I work at is just up ahead.”

“That sounds nice,” said Twilight as the two walked along.
At the café, Bright Eyes continued the conversation. “So, what’s the fascination of NetBattles anyway?”

“I don’t fully know myself,” Twilight told her. “I guess it gives some sort of exhilaration, probably due to its competitive nature. If you ask me, I’d say that only NetOps with custom NetNavis can get the full enjoyment of it.” She sighed before adding, “I don’t know how I got roped into the whole thing.”

“Well, I may not care for NetBattles myself, but I’m glad that there are experienced NetOps out there who protect the cyber world. Why, just the other day, there was an electric breakout here at the café, and a famed Net Agent came in and managed to fix the whole system.”

“Wow, here too? A lot of electric-based outbreaks have been reported across Canterlot, and I’m surprised how sporadic and viral they are.”

“I know, right? No one was able to trace the source yet. You’d best be careful where you go.”

“I will,” Twilight said as she picked up her bag and got up to leave, “and thanks for the muffin.” Then, she headed home.
Back at her house, Twilight was having dinner with her parents while discussing the electrical breakouts with them.

“It is pretty scary just to hear about it,” Mrs. Velvet said. “There have already been twenty records of breakouts.”

“It’s probably something dealing with the circuit system,” Twilight answered. “Should we check the appliances?”

“Don’t worry, Twilight,” Night Light reassured. “We had an electrician come in earlier today, and our systems are up to code.”

“Oh, I almost forgot,” Mrs. Velvet added, giving her daughter an envelope. “A letter arrived for you earlier today. It came all the way from Shining Armor in Empire City.”

Twilight immediately let out a squee upon hearing her brother’s name. “My B.B.B.F.F. sent me something!?” She immediately tore open the envelope, pulling out a letter, which she immediately read:

Dear Twilight Sparkle,

Great news! My senior project for my Masters in cyber-network programming came back, and I passed with flying colours! In fact, since it was about cyber security, I was able to utilize it with my team at the Empire City Police Force. Our system there was high-quality before, but now, as my team puts it, we have the heaviest security system in all of Empire City. To top it all off, thanks to the system security benefiting from my work, I’ve been promoted to ECPF Commissioner! Now my program can live up to its full potential.

My job aside, I’ve included a special gift for you with this letter. I hope you like it; I did my best to replicate as much of my knowledge as I could when I created it. All necessary information about it is attached as well.

Yours Truly,
Commissioner Shining Armor

The next thing that came out of the envelope was a small disc with a note attached.

“A custom burned disc? He must have sent me a PET update.”
“I wonder what is programmed on this.”

Later that night, Twilight decided to run the disc’s program. She put it in her PET adapter, and after making the necessary connections between her computer and PET, she started her download.

<<Systems administrator active: Please enter password.>>

She looked at the note that was attached and copied it on screen. “It’s a good thing Shining Armor thought ahead,” she thought out loud.

<<Password accepted. Loading…>>

<<Download complete!>>

“Here goes nothing. <<Install ‘New Core Logic’: EXECUTE!>>”

<<Running program with new custom configurations…>>

All that Twilight could think of while watching the program load into her PET was what the data held. ‘What kind of download is this?’ she thought. ‘It seems more convoluted than a regular system update.’

<<First stage of installation completed>>
<<Re-buffered partitions have been defragmented>>
<<Program import completed>>
<<Congratulations. While the operating system for your PET has been fully loaded, there will be a minor delay before it can be used.>>
<<Estimated time before program is ready: 8 hours.>>

“That was only the first stage? I didn’t even understand half of the commands that flew on screen!” She then let out a yawn. “I think I should just let this run overnight. I’m not going to stay awake for this even if I tried.” After changing into her sleepwear, she climbed in her bed and fell asleep.

<<Second stage of installation commencing>>

More commands flew across the PET screen. A new icon was being assembled in the foreground as the commands continued. As the night passed, the program approached completion. The icon soon fully assembled into a navy blue shield emblazoned with a magenta, six-point star. Then, at the break of dawn, the final command finished.

<<Second stage of installation completed>>
<<Congratulations! Installation fully completed>>
“Twilight…Twilight, rise and shine…YO, TWILY!”

Twilight groaned at the loud voice yelling at her combined with Spike barking away at her CPU, pulling her pillow over her head. “Knock it off. It’s too early. I had to download some PET update or something last night.”

“Yeah, and I’m here because it installed successfully,” the voice replied.

This made Twilight get up immediately. After she calmed Spike down, she looked around and asked, “Where are you?”

“I’m in your PET.”

“My PET?” She looked at her PET to see a white unicorn stallion with a blue mane and tail, wearing cobalt and silver armour as well as a blue and gold-lined helmet. “Sh-Sh-Shining Armor?”

“…at your service,” the cyber-stallion replied.

“How can that be? You’re a pony.”

“Well, yeah. I’m your new custom NetNavi, courtesy of your B.B.B.F.F.”

Twilight gasped upon hearing that. “My own custom NetNavi?”

“Exactly! Your brother had the whole thing programmed himself.”

Twilight let out a sigh.

“Hey, what’s wrong?” asked Shining_Armor.

“Don’t get me wrong. I’m really grateful that my brother gave me my own NetNavi, but…”


“I don’t think I should bother with NetBattles anymore.”

“To be fair, not all custom NetNavis are compelled for NetBattling. You don’t have to if you don’t feel okay with it.”

Suddenly, Spike started barking while pawing the wall.

“What’s got Spike riled up?” Twilight wondered.

A thermal reading appeared on the PET screen. “Twilight! It’s coming from the kitchen!”

All Twilight could say was, “What?” before they all heard an explosion go off. She didn’t hesitate in speeding downstairs.
“What happened?” she asked in a hurry.

“It’s our oven!” Mrs. Velvet answered as she and Night Light tried to douse the fire. “It suddenly burst into flames, and we can’t put it out!”

“Plus, the light bulbs on it overloaded and blew out!” Night Light added. “Now, the electric surge from them is making it dangerous to hold off everything!”

“The circuits are probably damaged,” Twilight said, “but how are we supposed to fix them with all these hazards?”

Just then, Shining_Armor spoke up, “Hey, Twilight, you have to plug your PET into the oven’s circuit board. That way, I can scan it and find the cause of the damage.”

“Are you serious!? I can’t plug in with all this going off!”

“There’s no need to worry. You should find a terminal connecter on the side of it.”

Like her NetNavi stated, she soon found a plug-in port on the side of the oven’s canopy.

“Thanks for the notice. <<Plug in, Shining_Armor! POWER UP!>>”
In no time at all, Shining_Armor fully digitized into the cyber-matrix. It didn’t take him long to find the cause of the hazard outbreak.

“Whoa! This place is full of computer viruses!” he exclaimed. “If I don't stop them they'll hack apart the oven's cyber matrix and everything will go up in flames!” He lifted his right foreleg, which transformed into a hoof cannon, and aimed at the viruses. “It’s time I do a full sweep against these viruses.” Wasting no time, he opened fire at the viruses, deleting each one he hit. A horde of Mets attacked him with a shockwave attack, but he leapt out of the way and blasted them. He spotted a few Satellites headed for him, but he managed to snipe each one, deleting them. Then, a group of Swordys charged at him. Holding his ground, his cannon gathered energy and fired a large blast, deleting them all.

After clearing the cyber-matrix, he stopped to rest while scanning the area, but out of nowhere, he heard a booming voice: “Blast! What have you done, you meddlesome NetNavi?” He saw a silhouette of what looked like an eagle on four limbs for only a moment before it vanished as fast as it appeared.

“What was that all about?” he wondered. “Well, I’ll figure it out sooner or later. At least Twilight and her parents are safe now.”

<Shining_Armor: Logging Out>


As soon as Shining_Armor returned, Twilight unplugged her PET from the oven. At the same time, Night Light and Mrs. Velvet successfully quelled the oven hazards.

“Your oven has been fully restored,” Shining_Armor reported.

“Wow! That was amazing!” Twilight cheered. “You were wonderful! I might reconsider my stance on NetBattling, thanks to your magnificent abilities!”

“Hey, thanks, Twily.”

“You know, I bet even Rainbow Dash would be impressed by your virus busting skills. What do you say we show her the next time we meet her?”

“I’m already looking forward to it!”
On the way to school, Twilight managed to find and catch up with Rainbow Dash.

“Hey there, Rainbow,” she greeted.

“’Sup, Twi?” Dash replied. “No hard feelings about yesterday, right?”

“Are you up for a rematch today? We’ll meet back in the Rec Hall.”

“Seriously? I thought your NetNavi was damaged.”

“Oh, I think you’ll be pretty surprised about my NetNavi’s condition.”

“Okay, then. If you’re so confident, then sign me up.”

“Uh, Twilight,” Shining_Armor spoke up, “do they allow NetBattles at Canterlot High?”

“Well, the Rec Hall is the only authorized place to do so,” Twilight told him. “They always open it after school.”
In an unknown dark chamber, a video screen appeared for a two way conversation between a young lady wearing a brown leather jacket, grey jeans and black, pink-lined boots, and a man hidden completely in shadows.

“Every single net-busting virus you sent ended up being deleted,” the young lady reported.

“Who did this?” the man questioned. “Was it one of those accursed Net Agents?”

“Nope, it was some dweeb unicorn. It must be a new NetNavi or something.”

“We can’t be hindered by renegade NetNavis. Gilda, if that unicorn shows up again, do whatever it takes to delete him.”

“10-4, Your Majesty.”
During one of the period breaks, Twilight stopped at her locker to hear the details of the earlier outbreak from Shining_Armor.

“You’re saying an evil NetNavi was responsible?” she asked.

“That’s right,” Shining_Armor answered. “I couldn’t get a clear visual on it, but it seemed as if it was commanding the viruses. Here’s what I saw.” He pulled up a visual of the griffon silhouette he observed earlier. “Does it look familiar to you?”

“I don’t know anyone who owns a griffon NetNavi, but whoever he or she is, that NetOp must be the one responsible for all of the hazard outbreaks.”

“We’ll have to keep our guard up, then. If I happen to get any intel, I’ll let you know.”
Soon, the school day finished. As arranged, Twilight Sparkle met Rainbow Dash at the Rec Hall. They both prepared themselves at the cyber-coliseum.

“Are you ready?” asked Twilight.

“As always,” Dash replied. “<<Plug in, SnowBreak! POWER UP!>>”

“Okay, let’s go! <<Plug in, Shining_Armor! POWER UP!>>”

Both NetNavis digitized into the arena. However, Rainbow Dash couldn’t help but laugh.

“What’s so funny, Dash?”

“No offense, Twi, but I should have expected your new NetNavi to look like your brother.”

“You may laugh about that, but his skillset will give you a run for your money.”

“We’ll see about that. Go get that unicorn, SnowBreak! <<Iron-Hoof Battle Chip In: DOWNLOAD!>>”

SnowBreak’s right foreleg turned silver, and he threw a massive punch at his opponent. A massive blast was heard upon contact with a thick cloud obscuring the two NetNavis from view, but when the cloud cleared, Shining_Armor was seen holding back the metallic hoof.

Both NetOps could only say, “Whoa!” upon seeing that happen.

Shining_Armor threw his opponent back and transformed his right hoof into a cannon.

“<<Rapid-Fire Battle Chip In: DOWNLOAD!>>”

Shining_Armor’s cannon reshaped itself, and he opened fire, successfully targeting and damaging SnowBreak.

“What!? Wait!” Rainbow Dash stammered. “How are you doing that!?”

“If you’re surprised by that,” Twilight said, “wait until you see this: <<Cyber-Sword Battle Chip In: DOWNLOAD!>>”

“I’m not giving up! Get him, SnowBreak! <<Muscle-Hammer Battle Chip In: DOWNLOAD!>>”

Right before the two clashed, a pink, gold-haired alicorn NetNavi digitized into the arena. “Someone help!”

The two immediately grinded to a halt before any attack made contact.

“Hey, wait a minute,” Rainbow Dash spoke up. “That’s Fluttershy’s NetNavi, HoneyHeart. What’s she doing here?”

“It’s about Fluttershy,” HoneyHeart answered. “She’s in danger!”

“Fluttershy!?” asked Twilight. “What happened to her!?”

As HoneyHeart pulled up a video uplink, she continued, “Right after she got home, her oven and microwave suddenly burst into flames, and it’s spreading rapidly throughout! Her parents haven’t arrived home yet, and no one else is around!”

“This is terrible!” Rainbow Dash exclaimed “We have to do something!”

“We will,” Shining_Armor interjected. “Twilight, you and Rainbow Dash have to get to Fluttershy’s house as fast as you can. We’ll meet up with you after we cyber-link there through the Internet.”

“Okay, then. Let’s go, Rainbow Dash.”

“I’m right behind you,” Dash replied.

<Shining_Armor: Transmitting>
<HoneyHeart: Transmitting>
<SnowBreak: Transmitting>
The three NetNavis managed to digitize into the cyber-matrix of Fluttershy’s house. When they arrived, they saw a horde of viruses setting fire to everything.

“It’s just like the horde that was at Twilight’s house,” Shining_Armor remarked. “I know what I’m going to do.”

Unbeknownst to them, the same NetNavi Shining_Armor saw earlier was observing them delete the viruses.

“So, the dweeb NetNavi decided to make an appearance again,” Gilda said through her transmission. “SteelFeather, you know what to do.”

“Roger that,” SteelFeather replied.
Meanwhile, Twilight Sparkle and Rainbow Dash charged through the door to Fluttershy’s house and searched for their friend through the flames.

“Hey, Twilight, I found her!” Rainbow Dash called out, taking hold of a passed out Fluttershy. Twilight ran over to them and helped Rainbow Dash carry Fluttershy out of the burning house.

“Her pulse is still good,” Twilight observed, “so why isn’t she waking up?”

“She probably was exposed to the smoke for too long,” Rainbow Dash inferred.

Fluttershy coughed out a puff of smoke before waking up. “How’d I get here?” she asked. “Did you two get me out?”

“Yeah,” Rainbow Dash told her. “You’re safe with us.”
<Viruses: Deleted>

“That should be the last of them,” Shining_Armor said, reforming his cannon back to his foreleg.

Just then, they all heard a menacing laugh. “Nice job, NetNavi, but now you have to deal with me!” Suddenly, a silver and brown feathered griffon slammed into the cyber-matrix.

“Who are you?” questioned HoneyHeart.

“I’m SteelFeather, your worst nightmare. Prepare to be deleted!” He used his wings to fire off multiple steel feather boomerangs at the three NetNavis, managing to knock off a few shots at them.
Soon, Twilight’s PET started to set off a buzzer. “Rainbow, I need you to call the fire department right away,” she said after looking at it. “I need to go back in and help delete whatever viruses remain.”

“Are you nuts!? The building is on fire!”

“If any viruses stay in the cyber-matrix, they can keep the fire going; even with the best firefighting skills in the world, all malicious software has to be deleted to stop this.” She wasted no time and ran back in.
“If you’re that easy of target practice, you must be really pathetic excuses of data,” SteelFeather taunted. “If I sent any stronger viruses earlier, you’d be gone by now.”

“I’ll pound you to cyber-dust!” SnowBreak shouted. He charged at the griffon, despite Shining_Armor and HoneyHeart calling him to stop.

“Take this!” SteelFeather roared. “<<ELECTRIC BLAZE>>”

SteelFeather’s talons transformed into twin flamethrowers, and he blasted SnowBreak with a torrent of fire and electricity, heavily damaging the hulking pegasus.

<SnowBreak: Logging Out>
Outside, an alarm sounded off from Rainbow Dash’s PET.

“Oh no! I forgot! Please don’t be deleted!” She looked at her screen, which had <<LOGOUT>> flashing on it. She sighed in relief. “That was too close.”
“Now it’s your turn, unicorn,” SteelFeather taunted.

Just then Shining_Armor’s helmet flashed brightly. “Don’t worry, Shining_Armor,” he heard Twilight say through transmission. “I’m here for you.”

“Just in time,” he said. “Thanks, Twily.”

“Let’s get this griffon! <<Charger Battle Chip In: DOWNLOAD!>>”

Shining_Armor pointed his right foreleg at his opponent as it transformed into a larger hoof cannon and fired a boulder-sized energy blast at him, successfully knocking the griffon off-balance.

“<<Step-Sword Battle Chip In: DOWNLOAD!>>”

Interchanging his cannon with a white-coloured cyber sword, Shining_Armor charged at SteelFeather at near-lightning speed and slashed off the griffon’s wings.

“OW! You jerk!” SteelFeather cried out in pain. “How dare you slash my wings off!”

“You have no right to tell me off,” Shining_Armor retorted. “With all the harm you’ve caused, any NetNavi with 50% processing would have you deleted.”

“Cheap shot, you dweeb,” Gilda interrupted through transmission. “SteelFeather, I’m pulling you out of there.”

“Mark my words, unicorn,” threatened SteelFeather, “I will delete you one way or another!”

<SteelFeather: Logging Out>

“That should cool things off here.”

“Shining_Armor, you did it!” HoneyHeart cheered as she caught him in a hug. “You saved us all!”

“Hey, easy there. It was nothing.”
After the cyber-matrix was cleared, the firefighters arrived and doused the fire. At the same time, a group of paramedics were tending to the three girls.

“Thanks for saving me,” Fluttershy told her friends. “I don’t know what would have happened if you hadn’t come.”

“We’d never leave any of our friends hanging like that,” Rainbow Dash replied, “but you should thank Twilight and her new NetNavi for getting rid of those viruses.”

“Well, it was Shining_Armor who managed to save the cyber-matrix from a renegade Navi,” Twilight said. “I’d say most of the credit should go to him.”

“Aw, come on, I couldn’t have done it myself,” Shining_Armor spoke up from Twilight’s PET. “It was thanks to your strategy that I was able to defeat that griffon, anyway.”

“Yeah, we do make one great team. Remind me to send a thank-you note to my brother for giving you to me later on.”

“I’m way ahead of you, Twily. I just sent him a report of our battle success with a message attached with it.”

“WHAT!? Why’d you send him our fight with that renegade Navi!? Don’t you know what he’ll think!?”

“He’s the Police Commissioner of Empire City. I’d say he’d be proud of you for being a hero.”

“Oh, like you know my brother better than I do?”

“Nice try, Twily. He modelled me after himself.”

Rainbow Dash and Fluttershy just laughed as Twilight argued with her NetNavi.